hill country observerThe independent newspaper of eastern New York, southwestern Vermont and the Berkshires

December 2020 - January 2021 Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE

Click the cover for the full issueHill Country Observer December 2020 issue


New York pushes local debates over police reform

The summer’s protests over police brutality and racial injustice have lately begun to spur talk of reform among local government officials around eastern New York. In most cases that’s thanks to a state mandate issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June, at the height of demonstrations sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The governor’s executive order required local governments across New York to set up local stakeholder committees to review and recommend changes to the policies and practices of local police agencies in each community. These new panels are supposed to focus special attention on policies governing use of force, procedural justice, evidence of bias, community outreach and conflict resolution.
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From Saratoga, flavor by the clove

Horse trainer’s garlic-growing sideline becomes family business
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Election 2020: Results from three states

Our detailed chart shows local results from the presidential race and contests for Congress, state legislative seats and statewide ballot questions.

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Creating art in a holiday season darkened by Covid

Across the region, artists and artisans are facing a holiday season unlike any other. The pandemic has closed many of their traditional ways to reach people -- the workshops and classes, festivals and open studios. With cold weather arriving and Covid-19 cases increasing, restrictions are tightening just as the holiday season begins. Holiday artisan markets are the main source of income for many artists. But with the pandemic having forced the cancellation of in-person markets, makers are looking for new ways to survive -- banding together online or in new artist cooperatives, for example.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron